London Hearts Supporters Club

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Anatoly Korobochka <-auth None auth-> Steve Conroy
Kingston Laryea [S Lovell 7]
6 of 012 ----- L SPL A

Aberdeen 1 Hearts 0

Aberdeen closed the gap on second-placed Rangers in the Bank of Scotland Premier League to only four points, thanks to Steve Lovell's superb goal against Hearts.

The breakthrough came in the seventh minute, when Lovell latched on to Barry Nicholson's through ball to fire a terrific half-volley past Craig Gordon.

Hearts offered little in attack throughout and any hopes the visitors had of snatching a draw were ended when Layrea Kingston was sent off in the 63rd minute after receiving two second half cautions.

Aberdeen made a lively start to the game, as Craig Brewster connected with a Michael Hart cross inside three minutes to flick a neat effort just over the bar.

The contest quickly turned into a physical battle, in part due to some lenient officiating from referee Steve Conroy and Nicholson had to leave the field for treatment following a hard challenge from Lee Wallace.

Nicholson returned to the action unscathed though and soon delivered a defence splitting pass through to Lovell, who opened the scoring in brilliant fashion.

Lovell raced up the right channel to latch on to Nicholson's delivery and proceeded to lash a half-volley past the stranded Hearts' goalkeeper Gordon from just inside the penalty area.

It was a goal which clearly rocked the Edinburgh club and while the visitors nearly opened up the Aberdeen rearguard in the 16th minute when Calum Elliot and Andrius Velicka linked up, the Dons stayed in control of the game.

Aberdeen were temporally reduced to 10 men, as Chris Clark had to return to the changing room to have a cut to his head tended to, but even with a one-man advantage, Hearts continued to look bereft of ideas in attack.

That was summed up on the half-hour mark when Kingston fired a poor shot well over from 30 yards, which was never in any danger of troubling Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield.

Meanwhile, the home side were only denied a second goal by a strong block from Tomas Kancelsku, who halted a drive from Nicholson after Jamie Smith's free-kick had been partially cleared by Christophe Berra.

Hearts then had to rely on a strong save from Gordon to keep a volley from Brewster out, as Aberdeen headed into the interval firmly on top.

The Dons retained their cutting edge in the second half and when Scott Severin's free-kick was knocked down by Lovell, the unmarked Nicholson really should have done better with his low shot which was saved by Gordon.

However, the Dons were handed an advantage in the 63rd minute, when Kingston was dismissed.

The on-loan midfielder from Terek Grozny had already been cautioned early in the second period for persistent fouling and 14 minutes later was shown a second yellow card, this time for a late lunge on Nicholson.

The former Dunfermline player never recovered from the knock he sustained in that terribly mistimed challenge and was immediately replaced by Zander Diamond.

To their credit, Hearts had not allowed Aberdeen too many sights of goal, but with 13 minutes remaining, a smart turn from Lovell saw the away side's defence vanish in front of him.

Lovell was able to beat Gordon with his effort, but fortunately for Hearts, Linas Philibaitis was alert enough to get back on his goalline and clear the danger.

Hearts threatened with a free-kick from Andrew Driver which curled over in the 89th minute, but Aberdeen never looked like conceding, as the Dons moved three points ahead of their rivals from Edinburgh in the SPL.


Aberdeen Langfield, Hart, Anderson, Considine, Foster,Jamie Smith, Severin, Nicholson (Diamond 66), Clark,Lovell (Dempsey 83), Brewster (Miller 87).

Subs Not Used: Soutar, Touzani, Daniel Smith, Maguire.

Goals: Lovell 7.

Hearts Gordon, Kancelsku (Karipidis 39), Berra, Zaliukas,Wallace, Ivaskevicius, Kingston, Pilibaitis, Driver,Velicka (Jankauskas 71), Elliot (Pospisil 46).

Subs Not Used: Banks, Fyssas, Jonsson.

Sent Off: Kingston (63).

Booked: Kingston, Ivaskevicius, Driver, Berra, Jankauskas.

Att: 13,964

Ref: S Conroy (Scotland).

Taken from

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